Mr Bean, Basil Fawlty, Dave Allen

Comedy: an opiate for the masses

Two big things in my life are music and comedy. During the long Covid-19 lockdown, I cited a different song each day that has meant something to me over my lifetime. In 2022/203 I did something similar with comedy sketches; again searching Youtube for videos I have particularly enjoyed over the many years I have watched the output of talented comedians who often critique the dark realities such as government corruption through the medium of laughter.

However, please note that comedy is a tricky thing and what can be funny for one person can be insulting to another. I personally do not find strong language offensive when it is used for comedic effect so I may from time to time cite sketches that contain strong language. When I do this I shall warn the reader so they can skip over these sketches if they are offended by strong language.

At the bottom of this page, you will find a Youtube video which contains the comedy sketches in the order I have cited them on this website that you can play for your enjoyment.

List Sketches by:   Comedians

Sketches categorised by Weeks

A random set of seven sketches from the Comedy collection (Month 1: 1st April 2022 — Week 53: 31st March 2023)

Week 2: Mr Bean Compilation, Rowen Atkinson (Month 1)

So working through the comedians in the comedy picture spread above, Rowen Atkinson's famous comedy creation Mr Bean always brings a laugh to most people. Apparently Bean is popular even without translation in other languages because his humour is so visual. The set of sketches in this video are well worth watching if your day needs a lift with some light slap stick comedy. I particularly enjoy when Bean goes to the theatre to watch a horror movie with his long-suffering girlfriend.

Week 12: Is the Government right about everything?, Harry Enfield (Month 3)

Today I was listening to James OBrien and a 97 year old caller rang in to say that he feels the UK government under Johnson is the worst it has ever been in his long lifetime. Given this government is constantly trying to gaslight its electorate, by telling us that Johnson got all the big calls right in relation to Covid-19, Brexit and the war in Ukraine, it seems this sketch by Harry Enfield is entirely appropriate even though the heart of the sketch suggests that in the past the media gave the government an easy time in terms of holding it to account.

Sadly those days appear to have returned with a vengeance given the pressure this current Conservative government is putting on organisations like the BBC and channel 4 and the revolving door between Parliament and the client journalists that supply ministers to top government positions.

Week 20: The Scammer Broke his phone after losing $2,000, Kitboger (Month 5)

So I guess this strictly isn't comedy although it certainly contains very funny elements. I must confess I am mentally exhausted living in a world where wicked people always get away with it and seemingly never face the consequences of their many crimes. I think for me the last few years in Britain has been really tough as I have witness an extremist faction of the Tory party (the European Research Group) get control of the party and through their stooge Boris Johnson, completely reek havoc on the UK economy by taking Britain out of the European Union trading bloc while allowing a man like Johnson, who does not have a honest bone in his body, lie his way through his premiership. The harsh consequences for the country has been the highest death toll in Europe from Covid-19, a National Health Service in complete meltdown, sustained double digit inflation, a severe cost of living crisis that the government is not even pretending to deal with, and finally a political campaign to find Johnson's replacement fought by too completely incompetent non-entities who should not have a job cleaning toilets let alone running the UK as the next PM.

Anyway, in this video you will see how Kitboger strings along a professional scammer, who normally preys on poor old ladies and gentlemen, to waste 5 hours of his day and give him the complete run-around as he thinks he has an easy target on which to ply his trade. The sense of schadenfreude in is strong in this video.

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Week 36: Karaoke, Peter Kay (Month 9)

Time to move onto some stand up comedy. I begin with Peter Kay who has produced some masterful material over his career capturing the many foibles of human existence. In this particularly funny segment, Kay picks up on the common problem we all have (especially as we get older) of completely mishearing lyrics.

I find this sketch particularly interesting as a physiologist because it also demonstrates how our brains can be so easily tricked if we are presented contrary information about the content of what we are hearing. Kay tells the audience what he wants them to hear and then mouths the incorrect lyric over the song and incredibly this is exactly then what you here. The most dramatic demonstration of this is in the song "We are family where he suggests they are singing "just let me staple the vicar". The correct lyrics are "just let me state for the record". If you play this part of the sketch and focus on the correct lyric of "just let me state for the record" you will actually correctly hear the correct words. Quite incredible really.

Week 38: Going around for a birthday tea, Peter Kay (Month 9)

Peter Kay is a master of observation and so much stand up comedy relies on observing the funny little things that we all do as foible-ladened human beings.

Week 40: The Private Eye The Year In Review 2022 (Month 9)

Private Eye Annual 2022 Private Eye Annual is a compilation of funny satirical pieces that were release in Private Eye magazine during the previous year.
Private Eye Annual 2022

So one of my Christmas treats is reading the Private Eye annual which my lovely wife Helen purchases for me every Christmas. As the tag line to my comedy page states, I fully believe now that the comedians role is partly to provide a painkiller for the frustrating banal evil that infects the leadership of many nations. Sadly Britain has been subject to worse forms of this sickness in 2022 so it is soothing to see individuals like Johnson, Farage, Truss, Mogg and Patel subject to the only earthly justice that is available to us for all the problems their poor leadership has caused and that is some humour at their expense.

In a strange way the politicians whose subjugation to wealthy special interest groups and billionaire media moguls, should be thankful for the English tradition of taking the mick because I often wonder if their excellent work has protected these individual from societal anger which in other nations results in sometimes violent insurrection. Perhaps this is the answer to the mystery of why the Brits continue to tolerate a class system that was more at home in the dark ages than in the 21st century.

Week 43: Striding Man – Fired, Armstrong & Miller (Month 10)

So last week I posted a compilation of sketches by Armstrong and Miller which captured the sometimes strange dynamics that occur in "high powered" workplaces full of alpha male (and sometimes female) middle managers and their underlings all vying for patronage from their boss. The Armstrong and Miller show often ran the same sketch each week developing it little by little each time. If you want to see how the striding man character developed during their comedy series then look at last week's post

The sketch below is the final instalment of the Striding Man and I guess the moral of the story is no matter how successful you are inside your workplace, there is always a chance it could all come crashing down in a moment. I guess this even applies to CEOs who can find themselves fired by their boards. Having said that, I think most CEOs know that even if they get fired they will walk away with a gigantic severance payment and into another CEO role in another large company such is the old boys revolving network that seems to exist at that level.

Year 2023: Occasional Post

RIP Matthew Perry (1969 - 2023)
RIP Barry Humphreys (1934 - 2023)

Month 12: March 2023

Week 53 - The final Sketch: Head to head discussion of the Beatles, Alas Smith and Jones
Week 52: Aeroplanes, Dave Allen
Week 51: Tunnel Contractor, Alas Smith and Jones
Week 50: Moments of Wonder: Computers, Philomena Cunk
Week 49: Happy Couples, Armstrong and Miller

Month 10: January 2023

Week 44: The work outing Part 2, The IT Crowd
Week 43: Striding Man - Fired, Armstrong & Miller
Week 42: Information, Armstrong and Millar
Week 41: Morecambe and Wise Christmas show 1978

Month 8: November 2022

Week 35: Boys are always more popular when they are murdered, Diane Morgan
Week 34: Dating a Republican, Garfunkel & Oates
Week 33: Cabinet Ministers Charity Appeal, Larry & Paul
Week 32: Braverman Shanty, The Marsh Family

Month 6: September 2022

Week 27: Mr Bean goes to the Dentist
Week 26 Butler of the Year, Morecambe & Wise
Week 25: Dr Death, The Two Ronnies
Week 24: Small Talk, The Two Ronnies
Week 23: Work outing part I, The IT Crowd

Month 4: July 2022

Week 18: Constitutional Peasants Scene, Monty Python
Week 17: Who does one think one is, Harry Enfield
Week 16: Nadine Dorries Conservative Party leadership campaign video, Sooz Kemper
Week 15: Boris Johnson's Resignation Speech, Matt Green
Week 14: Mastermind, Morecambe and Wise

Month 2: May 2022

Week 9: The Beatles, Morecambe and Wise
Week 8: 40 - 45 Years, Harry Enfield
Week 7: Doctors Scene 4, Harry Enfield
Week 6: The Upper Class Twit of the Year, Monty Python

The videos below will play all the Youtube videos in the order they were added. If you click on the button in the top right corner of the video below, it will bring up the full play list of videos and you can scroll down to select whichever one you want to play. Enjoy!

The Youtube Complete Play List (Sketches 1 to Present)

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